July 1, 2011
The Birthday Party
I wrote about how June's first birthday has made me reflect on the last year and how far we've come. Now for the party that marked that special occasion.
I wanted to throw a party that would be fitting of such an important occasion and although I realize a baby's first birthday is more meaningful to her parents than to her, I still wanted it to be a child's party. We invited about 30 people and as many of our friends with babies or kids that we could think of. There were probably about 10-12 kids crawling and playing at one time in the living room. June was in Heaven.
I found these pretty striped paper plates at Target and matching invitations and that became the color scheme of all the decorations. I added red, white and blue touches with stars which seemed appropriate given that it was the week before the 4th of July. I can see lots of red, white and blue parties and fireworks in her future.
I had lots of fun putting together little party favors using these popcorn boxes I found at Michael's to round out the all-American theme. I found the contents: little plastic sunglasses, rubber balls and wands, candy necklaces and party horns at the Dollar store.
I spent a good deal of time in the days before the party baking. I didn't want a pink princess theme but I did want to make desserts and goodies that were fit for a little princess. I had always wanted to make petit fours, those delicate little cakes that look so pretty and that I recently learned were born out of economy as bakers used up the discarded scraps from a larger cake to make the little bite-sized sweets. I used Martha Stewart's recipe and then threw out her icing and made my own.
The cake (a white cake with almond paste and a layer of jam in between, came out great but the icing was either too thin and didn't coat well, or the second batch was too thick and looked clunky. I decided that my pouring technique could use a little work and next time they will probably come out looking cleaner. But they still looked pretty, decorated with little pink and white sugar flowers or multi-colored sprinkles.
I also made marbled cream cheese brownies that I cut into small squares and madeleines which I always loved making when I worked at Marché.
Then I make these blackberry, mozzarella and basil, and straberry, mozzarella and mint skewers which looked really pretty and were a nice complement to the sweets.
A friend brought a huge fresh fruit platter and my mother-in-law brought chicken salad. And, my friend Heidi brought her delicious cake pops which everybody loved.
And for the birthday girl, I made her a yummy carrot cake, the same one I make for Daniel on his birthday and it is a favorite in our family. She seemed to like it. She loves veggies so I thought it would be a good way to introduce her to cake. I made a little 5-inch round cake for her and decorated it with cream cheese frosting and little frosting carrots with a leaf of parsley for the green.
It was really fun to see all of our friends and family there to celebrate June's first year. And she had a blast! She wore a party dress that belonged to my cousin who is 18 now and it looked so cute on her. It was sentimental for me because my mom bought that dress. And even though it was a little long, it did not stop her from crawling all over the place and walking all over with her 'lion' showing off for everyone.
She really seemed to enjoy the attention and revel in the party atmosphere. A girl after my own heart.
What a fun day! I will always remember June's first birthday and how much fun I had planning and putting together the party. I love throwing a good party and never need much of an excuse to bake, but it was particularly fun to do it for the first time for my little girl. I have a feeling there will be some great parties in our future.